The Dakar Rally
Stage 3: Erfoud
Total stage: 284 km / Special stage: 281 km
Sam Sunderland was outstanding in the third special of the rally. The British rider’s performance for TEAM HRC earns him top place on the leaderboard of the Merzouga Rally, after finishing second in today’s stage. Tomorrow will be held the first half of the Marathon stage.
The ‘Bereber’ stage is the longest so far in the Merzouga Rally, although it was reduced to less than that which had been previously planned, putting the riders to the test. The two TEAM HRC riders, Hélder Rodrigues and Sam Sunderland, set out in first place this morning, opening the route, after finishing first and second respectively in yesterday’s stage.
Hélder made a slight navigational error early on and saw his team-mate Sam overtake him, thus opening the route for a section of the special in the dunes where the rider is particularly at ease on the Honda CRF450 RALLY. Nevertheless, Sunderland had problems with his road-book which gave his competitors a chance to regain some time. In spite of this setback, Sam was able to push hard and finish in second place, a position which moves him up to the top-spot on the overall leader-board. Hélder, fourteenth on the day, takes sixth place in the overall standings.
|1||Frans Verhoeven (YAMAHA) 3h 41'36|
|2||Sam Sunderland (TEAM HRC) + 02'24|
|3||Jordi Viladoms (GAS GAS) + 07'06|
|4||Gerard Farrés (GAS GAS) + 07'06|
|5||Olivier Pain (YAMAHA) + 09'28|
|14||Helder Rodrigues (TEAM HRC) + 44'46|
|1||Sam Sunderland (TEAM HRC) 7h 00'34|
|2||Olivier Pain (YAMAHA) + 10'37|
|3||Farres Guell Gerard (GAS GAS) + 22'03|
|4||Jordi Viladoms (GAS GAS) + 24'23|
|5||Frans Verhoeven (YAMAHA) + 26'53|
|6||Helder Rodrigues (TEAM HRC) + 40'54|